The Russian Film Festival is returning to London on the 2nd November for its 6th year! The festival will present the UK premieres of the most illustrious Russian films of the past year – works by established film directors as well the new generation of Russian filmmakers.
From poetic parables to poignant documentaries and perceptive drama, this selection of films reflects the diversity and paradoxes of contemporary Russia. It is a window to the real Russia of today – films such as Kokoko, Rita’s Last Tale, Chapiteau-Show and others will surprise British audiences with the originality of modern Russia and its cinematography.
All films will be shown in Russian with English subtitles. Films will be presented by their world-renowned directors, actors, and producers, with guests including Boris Khlebnikov, Mikhail Segal, Vasily Sigarev, Yana Troyanova, Avdotya Smirnova, Sergei Loban, Aleksandr Proshkin, Pavel Lungin, Andrei Plakhov, Vitaly Mansky and Renata Litvinova joining us for Q&As, discussions, and masterclasses. In addition to the feature programme selected by Andrei Plakhov, documentaries chosen by Vitaly Mansky, and two animation screenings, there will be a retrospective of the great Andrei Konchalovsky.
Opening Film: Till Night Do Us Part / Пока ночь не разлучит
|Till Night Do Us Part Poster Пока ночь не разлучит|
In Moscow’s most extravagant restaurant, anything can happen. Based on real overheard conversations, this satirical comedy lifts the lid on the scandalous lives of Muscovites and the passions and intrigues of the staff. This innovative and exhilarating comedy is not to be missed.
Director: Boris Khlebnikov
Nominated for the Grand Prix at the 23rd Kinotavr Festival.
|Rita’s Last Tale Poster Последняя сказка Риты|
Renata Litinova’s latest film is a haunting fairytale far beyond the world of the Brothers Grimm. Rita’s Last Tale takes the audience on a surreal journey in exploration of the universal themes of love, hate, and the search for happiness, as the turbulent lives of three women surrounded by darkness culminate in a decrepit hospital, its disintegrating walls the setting of an inescapable end for one...
Director: Renata Litvinova
Winner of the Kommersant Weekend prize at the Moscow International Film Festival 2012.
|Short Stories Poster Рассказы|
Award-winning director Mikhail Segal presents his latest film, Short Stories. The film, divided into four separate stories, takes off when the manuscript of a young writer is sent to a publishing house and begins to influence the life of everybody who opens it and reads even a single page.
Segal displays his talent as a writer as well as director as he delves deep into the lives of the individuals at the publishing house. In an inexplicably amazing feat, Segal manages to entwine the genres of comedy, satire, thriller and erotica, taking his audience on an exhilarating and witty ride of social commentary.
Director: Mikhail Segal
Nominated for the Grand Prix at the 23rd Kinotavr Film Festival.
|I’ll Be Around Poster Я буду рядом|
Pavel Ruminov's I'll Be Around is the deeply moving story of a single mother's struggle to secure a future for her son. The life of a young and successful restaurant manager, Inna, comes suddenly and unexpectedly crumbling down around her when she is diagnosed with an incurable illness.
Though loved and respected by her colleagues, Inna’s inevitable death will be felt most greatly by her son Mitya. Determined not to leave him an orphan, Inna seeks new parents for six-year-old Mitya. This endearing, yet tragic story of friendship between mother and son shows how love can overcome mortality. In the face of their last farewell, Inna and Mitya must find a way to overcome the injustice that fate has so abruptly and prematurely thrown their way.
Director: Pavel Ruminov
Grand Prix winner at the 23rd Kinotavr Film Festival.
|Convoy Poster Конвой|
Alexei Mizgirev’s Convoy, set in an apocalyptic Russia, is the story of an army captain commissioned to escort two deserters back to their unit. After the suicide of one the deserters, the remaining soldier and the commander spend the day in Moscow, where they are confronted with the realities of life in the metropolis. As their friendship blossoms, the cynical Captain's attitude to life is changed forever.
Director: Alexei Mizgirev
Winner of the FIPRESCI prize at the 8th Eurasia International Film Festival.
|Living Poster Жить|
Life is more than just existence. A person can feel, suffer, love, and live out his destiny, even when this means losing that which is most precious: those he loves. Following the lives of the film’s characters, we watch as Fate takes their loved ones swiftly and brutally, removing any reason to live, even the desire to stay alive; snatching up their entire world. The film’s characters do not surrender: they stand up in defiance, declare war on Fate, struggling to the limits of human endurance — and beyond. They reach their own victories.
Director: Vasily Sigarev
Winner of Best Film at the 12th Wiesbaden Eastern European Film Festival.
|Kokoko Poster Кококо|
Town and country collide in this quirky and amusing tale of contrasts: Lisa and Vika seem to live in different worlds until a chance meeting brings them together and shows them how much they have in common and how much they can learn from each other.
Director: Avdotia Smirnova
Best Actress Award at the 23rd Kinotavr Festival.
|The Conductor Poster Дирижер|
From acclaimed director Pavel Lungin (Tsar, The Island) comes The Conductor - his most ambitious work to date. A leading conductor takes his orchestra to Jerusalem to perform the Matthew Passion: but what happens there forces him to reevaluate his entire life. Perhaps it is never too late to change?
Director: Pavel Lungin
|Chapiteau Show Poster Шапито-Шоу|
Chapiteau Show / Шапито-Шоу
Four groups of eccentric outsiders converge on a Crimean resort in this intricate multi-story narrative from Sergei Loban. A prize winner at last year's Moscow International Film Festival, Chapiteau Show exudes a unique and magical style that will simply leave you spellbound.
A film of four novellas that can be watched in any order, Sergei Loban’s Chapiteau Show tells the tale of a circus of outsiders whose lives are as chaotic and carnivalesque as the show that brings them together. This film exudes a unique and magical style that will leave you spellbound, as a should-be-tragedy becomes a riotous comedy where the show must go on.
Director: Sergey Loban
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival 2011.
|I Also Want It - Me Too Poster Я тоже хочу|
Four passengers rush in a huge black jeep along an empty road in search of the “Bell Tower of Happiness.” According to old beliefs it is hidden somewhere between St. Petersburg and the town of Uglic, not far from an old nuclear power station which has been deserted. The Bell Tower makes people disappear. But it does not accept everyone. Each of the four passengers believes that he or she will be chosen.
Director: Alexei Balabanov
|Winter, Go Away! Poster Зима, Уходи!|
Winter, Go Away! was filmed by the graduates of Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov’s Documentary Filmmaking and Theater School, on the initiative of Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper. Ten young directors did not part from their cameras for two months. The result was a chronicle of Russia’s winter protests – a chronicle of those who make the political climate and those who are dissatisfied with the makers. We see people, their faces, their conversations, rallies, victories and defeats ahead of the presidential election. A living camera interacts with living heroes.
Directors: Elena Khoreva, Denis Klebleev, Dmitry Kubasov and others.
|Anton is Right Here Poster Антон тут рядом|
How is it possible to feel someone else’s pain? The hero of this film is an autistic boy. His life is divided between an apartment with peeling walls on the outskirts of a large city, and a mental hospital. Anton comes into the frame when he is on the point of becoming a patient at a residential neuropsychiatric institution, a place where people with the sort of diagnosis that he has do not live long. The author, the camera, the hero. The distance between them shrinks with every passing minute, and the author has to enter the shot and become a character in the story. However, it is not a story about how one person helped another, but about how one person recognized herself in another.
Director: Lyubov Arkus
Winner of the Silver Mouse at the Venice Film Festival 2012.
Iconoscope / Иконоскоп
It is said that an average human spends about 10 years in front of a TV screen. It does not make sense to inquire if they are the lost years, for it is impossible to imagine our civilization without television, even though it was invented less than 100 years ago. Nevertheless, television is not the only protagonist of this film, for there are two more principal characters, both of them TV stars, Dan Rather and Igor Kirillov. For the audiences in the U.S. and the Soviet Union their names were synonymous with the television. Iconoscope is your chance to grasp the entire history of television in 100 minutes of enthralling and paradoxical spectacle.
Director: Vitaliy Mansky
|Redemption Poster Искупление|
On the eve of the first New Year after the war: the father of 16-year-old Sasha heroically died at the front, and her mother steals goods from the police dining room to feed the family, but is this really important for an ideologically grounded, young komsomol? Finding her mother in the arms of another man, Sasha feels betrayed. She goes to the police and writes a denunciation of her closest relation. Her cold heart knows no love and is unable to forgive. Everything changes with the arrival in her life of a young man, August, who has come to Sasha’s native city with one aim: to bury the bodies of his parents. Redemption is found through loss, and through feeling pity; Sasha learns to forgive and to love.
Director: Aleksandr Proshkin
Nominated for the Grand Prix at the 23rd Kinotavr Film Festival.
The festival is organised by Academia Rossica, an organisation promoting Russian culture in the UK, and the Russian Cinema Fund in collaboration with the Apollo Cinema Piccadilly and the Institute of Contemporary Art. For the first time, the festival will encompass venues outside of London in partnership with the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.
Another highlight of the festival will be the second Russian-British Co-Production and Distribution Forum, organized in collaboration with the British Film Institute and the Russian Cinema Fund.
About the programme directors:
Andrei Plakhov is a leading Russian film critic and cinema historian. Since 2005, he has served as President of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), as well as writing a column for the newspaper Kommersant. He serves as judge at a number of major international film festivals. His recent books include Under the Sign of F: Film Festivals (2006) and Directors of the Future (2010).
Vitaly Mansky is known as Russia’s master of documentary films. With a career spanning over 30 films, he has received over 50 major awards at international film festivals for his provocative and insightful films. He also founded the Artdokfest festival of independent films, and established Russia’s main documentary prize, The Laurel.
6th Russian Film Festival
2-11 November 2012
Institute Of Contemporary Arts The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
Apollo Picadilly Circus, 19 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4LR
For more information and tickets visit:
The Establishing Shot: 6TH RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS TO LONDON